Proactive Cycling: How to Stay Safer in Maryland Traffic

Biking is a favorite hobby of many people in the Maryland area. With the fresh summer air, the beautiful sunny weather, and the exhilarating rush of a fast, fun ride, this activity is loved by people of all ages.

As enjoyable as biking is, there are some risks when you enter the open road. Cyclists are harder for car drivers to see, making it easier for collisions to happen. Cars can turn in front of you or drift off into your designated lane. When they do, you could be left with serious injuries.

The key to avoiding collisions like this is to stay proactive.

How Cyclists Can Proactively Avoid Accidents in Maryland

Safe riding is smart riding. When it comes to bicycling around the streets of Montgomery County or Prince George’s County, there are five things you can do to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable ride.

  • Check your tire pressure before you ride. Flat tires are not only annoying, but they are also dangerous. Pinch flats happen when there is not enough air pressure in your tires. If you get a flat tire, you could be left stranded on the side of the road trying to change it. That puts you and other cyclists at risk. Check your tire pressure before you start your ride each and every time.
  • Wear safety gear. It might not look great, but safety gear is an important part of every cyclist’s basic supplies. Wear your gear every time you ride: this includes a helmet and eye protection. Sun blindness can cause you to swerve, which could put you in direct line of a car. Wear sunglasses to keep bright lights and debris out of your eyes.
  • Don’t make silly assumptions. You know your bike route inside and out, but the cars you’re riding with do not. Avoid assuming that a car knows you plan to make a sudden turn. Always use arm signals to alert drivers of your next move.
  • Leave your headphones at home. Riding and listening to your favorite music might seem like fun, but it’s very dangerous. You can’t hear traffic, emergency vehicles, or other important sounds of the road while Vivaldi is playing through your sound system. Leave your headphones at home and ride to the music of the road instead.
  • Make a statement. As a cyclist, you want people to notice you’re there. Don’t wear dark colors and try to blend in. Stand out with bright colors, lights, and other statement pieces.

Riding is a fun, healthy activity but it is one that requires care. Safety first! If you know of a new cyclist in Maryland, we encourage you to pass this article on to her so that she can get important and potentially life saving tips to help her during her time in the saddle.

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